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Posted by on Apr 5, 2016 | 0 comments

World Communion Sunday: Bread-Gift

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In 2011, our church began a tradition on World Communion Sunday (1st Sunday in October) of giving BREAD-GIFTS to every family at the end of worship.  The week before the service, we fill gallon size ziptop bags with the following:

  1. all of the dry ingredients for a basic french bread dough.  We include enough for 2 standard sized boules (round loafs);
  2. the recipe with ingredient list (5 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, 2¼ tsp instant yeast, 2 tsp salt, 2 cups warm water) and instructions.  Here it is:
    a. Pour bread mix from the plastic bag into a mixing bowl and add 2 cups warm water (not hot).
    b. Mix slowly for 1 minute in a mixer or by hand.
    c. Let rest for 5 minutes.
    d. Mix again for 2 minutes (use dough hook if you have one).
    e. From here you have two options:

    •  cut ball of dough into ½ and put each into a gallon ziptop bag in refrigerator for 1-4 days (lightly oil ziptop with vegetable oil first). This is called cold fermentation and will increase flavor.  When you are ready to bake, take dough, form into round ball(s), and let each ball rise in its own, lightly oiled bowl (covered with plastic wrap), and let rise for 2 hours. Then, remove plastic wrap, place cookie sheet lined with parchment paper over bowl and carefully overturn dough onto sheet.  Carefully cut cross into top with serrated knife and then bake in 450 degree oven for 25-30 minutes (~190 degrees internal temperature).  Enjoy!
    • or, if you want to bake right away, after mixing, let all of dough rise for one hour in a lightly oiled bowl (covered with plastic wrap).  After 1 hour, separate dough into two, form into 2 round balls, and let each rise in its lightly oiled bowl (covered with plastic wrap), for another hour.   Then, remove plastic wrap, place cookie sheet sheet lined with parchment paper over bowl and carefully overturn dough onto sheet.  Carefully cut cross into top with serrated knife and then bake in 450 degree oven for 25-30 minutes (~190 degrees internal temperature).  Enjoy!

Before worship, all of these ziptop bags are filled with bread mix and instructions and placed into baskets around the altar at the front of the church.  During the offering, we say a prayer of blessing over the mixes.  (Something like this:   Christ, for fruit and grain.  For crisp apples and canned tomatoes.  For a World Communion.  For this opportunity to give and receive bread.  For abundance…and abundance…and abundance, we give to you God, our thanks and praise, and pray for blessings to be upon us, upon our offerings, and upon this bread mix.  Together, may we feed and be fed today and every day in service to you.  AMEN.)

Then, just before the benediction, we invite the children forward to give the mixes to those in the congregation who raise their hands (we say 1/family).  Since there is enough mix for two loaves, we also invite all to bake one loaf for their own eating and 1 loaf for a neighbor.

A fun way to involve many.  A good way to further celebrate World Communion Sunday.  A  simple way to extend the table.  A wonderful way to connect with God and with others. A bread-gift.  Happy baking!


© Rev. Kevin Goldenbogen, 2016

Kevin Goldenbogen is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ serving an amazing congregation in the foothills of the Green Mountains of Vermont. He skis, climbs, runs, bakes bread, rides a red Vespa, and tries every day to follow Jesus. He is married to the perfect woman and has two boys who he loves beyond words.

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